CAPABA Marks Second Annual AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate

On May 18, 2020, cities, elected officials, influencers and community groups are commemorating the second annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying and Hate, led by anti-bullying nonprofit Act To Change. CAPABA is committed to ending bullying and hate in the AAPI community and is proud to join this movement.

AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate is part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and marks the birthday of Vincent Chin. In 1982, Chin was falsely blamed for the layoffs in the auto industry, and brutally murdered in a hate crime. His murder fueled a national Asian American movement, one that must continue today, in light of the rising xenophobia and hate crimes surrounding COVID-19.

Sadly, our society continues to ostracize people who are AAPI. Every day, kids of all ages suffer from being bullied online and in schools across the country. In the AAPI community, this problem is often compounded by cultural, religious, and linguistic barriers that can keep these youth from seeking and receiving help. And certain AAPI groups – including South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Micronesian, LGBTQ, immigrant, and limited English proficient youth – are more likely to be the targets of bullying.

This issue is now exacerbated by COVID-19. People of Asian descent are being blamed for the virus and targeted in verbal and physical attacks. There have been over 1500 cases of anti-Asian discrimination reported since the beginning of the pandemic. We publicly denounce all bullying and hate against the AAPI community, and stand in solidarity with Act To Change to encourage the public to foster dialogue, share resources, and end bullying and hate.

Message from the President

Dear CAPABA members and friends,
 
I extend to each of you my very best wishes amid the health crisis we are facing due to COVID-19.  I hope that you and your families are well and staying safe.  If there is any support I can give you, even if it is a call to catch-up during these isolating times, please reach out to me and let me know.
 
The Board, Officers, and I have been monitoring the spread and developments of the coronavirus in our state and around the world.  As the situation continues to worsen, we urge you all to stay home, exercise caution when in public spaces, and be diligent in the protection and care of yourself and others.  We will get through this.
 
I am conscious that this message adds an additional COVID-19 email to your inboxes that you may be checking from home amid a host of child care, health, and other new challenges.  For that reason, I have tried to limit the number of CAPABA emails during this time.  Today, I send this message to deliver a number of updates and to urge you to remain connected with each other.

  • As you may know, CAPABA had to cancel its panel discussion and showing of the play, The Chinese Lady, at Long Wharf Theatre in March.  This was disappointing as we had sold out all of our tickets and even received additional RSVP’s up to the day of cancellation.  I want to thank An-Ping Hsieh for bringing this important opportunity to us and for all of his hard work in arranging the speakers and showing.  
  • On March 19, I signed onto a NAPABA Statement condemning the use of terms like “Chinese Virus” and “Wuhan Virus” and calling for action against the racial attacks that those statements lead to.  See the statement here.
  • The Connecticut Bar Association has organized a COVID-19 Task Force.  There are many subcommittees to the Task Force.  CAPABA would like to appoint members to work on the Task Force and with the CBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee that is working to address instances of anti-Asian racism.  Please let me know if you would like to participate on the Task Force.  
  • Relatedly, instances of anti-Asian sentiment and racism have been on the rise throughout the country and world.  They can be subtle, as in avoiding Asian businesses, or more open and even violent.  If you, or anyone you know, has experienced any instances of anti-Asian racism, please report it to me so that I can share the report (anonymously) with the Task Force.
  • The CBA is gathering donations for Connecticut Food Bank and Food Share.  CAPABA will make a contribution.  Individual contributions can also be made.  This effort seeks to provide the most help to our community as possible with each $10 contribution providing 25 meals.  We will circulate materials on how to contribute in the next email.
  • On Friday, April 3, at 3:00 p.m., NAPABA’s Civil Rights Committee and AABANY are presenting the following webinar: Pandemic and Acts of Hate Against Asian Americans: From Past to Present.  The program will cover current and past instances of racial abuse directed toward Asian Americans and discuss ways to fight discrimination.  Register here
  • Recently, the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity announced the appointment of Joelle A. Murchison as their new Executive Director.  Ms. Murchison is the former Chief Diversity Officer of both the University of Connecticut and Travelers.  She currently leads her own diversity & inclusion consulting group.  CAPABA looks forward to continuing its collaboration with LCD under Ms. Murchison’s leadership.   
  • As your organization re-works its attorney hiring and summer programs, remember to please update both candidates with offers and applicants, as well as law school career offices.  Particularly in the wake of the postponement of the July bar exam in Connecticut, students are understandably stressed about their future plans.  The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) may be one resource for developing remote opportunities for summer associates and others.   
  • CAPABA is working to assist the Asian-owned small businesses in our state by providing information regarding steps they can take to cope with changes and challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please send requests for help or information to me.  In the meantime, small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for loans here

I know that a lot is changing.  We (mostly) work from home and our student members attend virtual classes.  Some of us are preparing to celebrate Passover and Easter next week without the coming together of family that helps make those holidays so special.  Despite these changes, I ask that we still stay connected.  

  • Please email, call, or Zoom another member, or members, at least once a week, just to connect and chat.  
  • Follow the example set by our Attorney General, William Tong, and support your local Asian restaurants by ordering takeout from them, to the extent you order out.  It has never been more important to do what we can to support our community.
  • Complete the census, TODAY.  Asian Americans are often undercounted and unrepresented.  Please take a few minutes to complete the census by clicking here

 
I look forward to seeing you all as soon as possible and celebrating CAPABA’s 20th Anniversary this fall.
 
Finally, good luck with your home workouts!
 
Truly yours,
Dan Brody, President of CAPABA
dbrody@rc.com